Signs and symptoms of Spice addiction

Main symptoms of addiction to Spice include psychological dependence on Spice to carry out everyday activities, cravings, compulsion to use, and inability to stop smoking Spice. More signs and symptoms of Spice addiction here.

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Are you or someone you love addicted to Spice?

Here, we review key points about Spice addiction. Because when you can identify the signs and symptoms of Spice addiction, you can take actions to intervene. More on how to properly treat Spice addiction here, with an invitation for your questions about Spice addiction treatments at the end.

Spice addiction signs

In order to understand addiction to Spice you need to know a little bit more about the drug itself. Spice products contain dried plant materials, but chemical analyses show that their active ingredients are synthetic (or designer) cannabinoid compounds. Basically, the herbal leafs are dried and then sprayed with a synthetic, lab-produced chemical(s) that product psychoactive effect, similar to a marijuana-like “high”.

Spice (or more accurately, synthetic cannabinoids) affects the brain by interacting with the cannabinoid receptors in the central nervous system, similar to THC. In fact, euphoric effect is the main reason why people use Spice. Spice is mostly smoked, often used with real marijuana, and very seldom prepared as an herbal infusion for drinking. But how do you know when someone’s manifesting signs of addiction?

Symptoms of Spice addiction

According to the The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association, clinical criteria for substance use disorders are used as a framework for diagnosing “addiction”. Although medical experts have not established specific medical criteria for Spice addiction, nearly all substances are diagnosed based on the same overarching criteria. So, Spice can cause signs of addiction just like any other substance of abuse, going from physical to psychological effects.

For example, regular Spice users may develop tolerance to its effects. And Spice users can experience cravings, obsessive thinking, or compulsive use of Spice. Here is a list of some of the most common signs manifested in cases of Spice addiction.

  • Continuing to use Spice, despite negative life consequences to your health or well-being
  • Cravings and urges to smoke Spice
  • Experiencing uncomfortable symptoms when doses are lowered or stopped altogether (withdrawing from Spice)
  • Needing more Spice to get the effect you want (tolerance)
  • Neglect of other interests or duties
  • Problems with responsibilities related to work, home or school, because of Spice use
  • Spending a lot of time getting, using, or recovering from using Spice
  • Using Spice again and again, even when it puts the you in danger
  • Using Spice in larger amounts or for longer than you originally intended
  • Wanting to cut down on or stop using Spice… but not being able to

You may also notice these symptoms which can indicate problem Spice use:

  • agitation
  • craving and compulsion
  • dose increases
  • hallucinations
  • rapid heart rate
  • vomiting

Spice addiction symptoms: Can they be treated?

Yes. Spice addiction symptoms can be treated.

While Spice addiction is treatable, in order to maintain the achieved results and determine relapse these actions need to be monitored and led by drug addiction specialists. Addicts need to be open and accept the help offered from their families and institutions.

Addiction help for Spice usually addresses two different conditions: the physical and the psychological state of the addict. After going through a detox program in a detox clinic (during which Spice leaves the system), the next phase for the addict is to get psychological support. This can take the form of various therapies, such as family therapy, group therapy, and support groups. Each type of treatment seeks to empower the addict to maintain abstinence from Spice, and, furthermore, to adapt positive behaviors and practice positive habits. But where do you begin to seek help for Spice addiction?

You can begin by seeking help from medical professionals. Your first point of contact can be your physician or a family doctor. S/He can address withdrawal symptoms caused after a period of physical dependence with over-the-counter and prescribed medications and then refer you to detox or addiction treatment center according to your individual case and preferences. Inpatient or outpatient treatment programs can then offer you the full scope of treatment options and include behavioral and psychological interventions. The time and space are very well managed and organized in these centers, so addicts will be feeling secure and ready to take the next step in tapering off of Spice.

Signs of Spice addiction questions

Spice addicts can feel insecure and anxious about getting help. But signs of Spice addiction can be treated. Do you still have questions related to addiction to Spice? Now is your chance to post them in the comments section below; we will try to address each issues with a personal and prompt response.

Reference Sources: APA: Substance Use Disorder Fact Sheet
ToxNet: Hazardous Substances Data Bank: Cannabicyclohexanol
National Library of medicine: Withdrawal Phenomena and Dependence syndrome after Consumption of “Spice Gold”
National Institute on Drug Abuse: K2 and Spice (Synthetic Marijuana)
NIDA for Teens: Drug Facts about Spice
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.


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  1. Hi , I’ve been using spice for a while, for about 6 months then I stopped & got my withdrawals for about 1 week & 2 days they were horrible! Now I started smoking spice again a few days ago & I plan on stopping again , will i get the withdrawals again if I stop …???

    1. Hi Vanee. It is very possible that you will feel withdrawal symptoms again, especially if you smoked regularly these past few days.

  2. My sister is on probation and has become addicted to spice. She has sn 8 month old baby and I need to make sure nothing happens to hurt the BABY(AND MY SISTER).please help me help them. I am so scared and talking hasn’t accomplished any thing

    1. Hello Coco. Make sure that your sister is not breastfeeding the baby, since substances she takes can be transferred through milk. Your sister will need professional medical help to stop using spice and get her life sorted out. Counseling and psychotherapy can help her build new coping skills and habits.

  3. There is no doubt in my mind that Spice is very addictive. Its both physically and mentally addicting if the user still continues to consume the drug when they are experiencing horrible side effects such as visions of death, uncontrollable spasms, hapless movements, psychotic hallucinations, intense vomiting, loss of memory, anxiety fits, irrational fear, vertigo, and possible (likely) long term brain damage.
    I have smoked spice maybe 30-40 times over the past year. I rationalized my usage as being merely experimental and infrequent. I became aware of its dangers about 9 months ago, and despite what I read about on the internet I would continue to dabble in spurts lasting a weekend at a time. I didn’t worry about becoming a full-blown addict because my friend , who I will refer to as Dillenger, would give it to me for free when he drops by to hang-out and play video games.
    As of this morning I’m taking a personal stand against this noxious, evil substance. I remember going thru withdrawal about 9 months ago because at that time I smoked almost daily , and had becan to buy the sh*t myself. But by that time I hadn’t suffered such a massive episode of terror like I did last night.
    I’m putting my foot down now, before I fall into a pattern of addiction all over again. Last night I took a large hit and held it for about five seconds (holding in the hit intensifies the Trip in direct correlation to the length of time its held in) and within five minutes I was spasming on my bed, limbs flailing. I began vomiting and my GF helped me stumble to the bathroom where I could puke into the sink. It was excruciating and not merely a painless drunk puke from too much draft beer, mind you. This sickening episode was violent and painful, and my mind couldn’t get over the fact that I was going to die! After she calmed me down, and I looked down into the sink clogged with undigested food and bile, I mustered the ability to take a hot shower. I felt so vulnerable and helpless. My GF was bitching at Dillenger about how horrible of a drug spice is, but I couldn’t make out the whole conversation because I was still swirling with Euphoria as the hot water did its best to reawaken my body. I pleasantly kicked out Dillenger and spent the evening being babied by my understanding yet concerned GF.
    Today I’m alive. And why would I want to put myself thru another self-inflicted nightmare for the sake of getting high? Sounds like a no-brainer to me. I only hope others out there wake up before its too late.

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